Breach of Warranty: The Ins and Outs

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What is a Breach of Warranty?

Breach of warranty is claimed when the product doesn’t live up to its intended use. A warranty is a legal guarantee which claims that the product is fit to use for the intended purpose, and if anything goes wrong, it’s on the manufacturer to rectify the issue. Warranties only apply to consumer products.

Whenever a product doesn’t work for the intended purpose, the consumer can sue the seller under the law of breach of warranty.

Recognize that if there was no damage done by the product, one wouldn’t be able to sue anyway. This is only relevant if one tried to use it in a way that the product couldn’t handle, which, in turn, caused some sort of bodily and/or monetary harm.

There are three types of warranties:

  • Express warranty
  • Implied warranty of merchantability
  • Warranty of fitness

Breach of warranty is claimed when the product doesn't live up to its intended use.

1. Breach of Express Warranty

An express warranty is when the seller expressly promises that the product will work in a particular way. Breach of express warranty can be claimed against a sales contract that contains an express warranty but doesn’t live up to it.

The express warranty can be submitted in the court of law as evidence, and the manufacturer/seller becomes liable for a breach of warranty. However, it becomes difficult for the complainant’s attorney to prove such claims if the contract or promise was verbal.

According to the Uniform Commercial Code, when there are no express warranties from the contract, it doesn’t matter what the salesperson said about the product. The buyer should be aware not to rely on any verbal statements.

2. Implied warranty of merchantability

The implied warranty of merchantability promises to the buyer that the product being sold doesn’t possess any design or manufacturing defects. The seller is making an implied promise that the product is fit for the intended purpose of use.

For instance, if a multi-purpose screwdriver is marketed or claimed to be fit to use for every kind of screws but works for only a few screw types. In this case, a complainant can file an implied warranty of merchantability claim.

Signing contract in legal malpractice case

3. Implied warranty of fitness

Implied warranty of fitness occurs when the seller is aware of the buyer’s needs and recognizes the purpose of buying the product by the consumer. Moreover, it is also in the seller’s knowledge that the buyer is relying on the seller’s skills and knowledge to choose the right product for the desired purpose. Unfortunately, though, the product turns out to be unfit for the intended purpose. Hence, in this claim, the complainant doesn’t need to prove the products’ defects, unlike the implied warranty of merchantability.

For example, if a buyer visits a car showroom and asks the salesperson to show a good car for driving on the highway. If the salesperson suggests a product that isn’t what the buyer needed, the buyer can sue the seller for an implied warranty of fitness.

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Breach of warranty can be confusing for the plaintiff. Make sure you understand the three different types of breach of warranties so that if a manufacturing defect comes up with a purchased product, you’ll be able to sue the seller for the right kind of breach.

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